Movie Review: THE MULE (Blu-ray Combo Pack)

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.

THE MULE is inspired by a true story and marks Clint Eastwood‘s first time on both sides of the camera since he starred in 2009’s critically acclaimed Gran Torino. In addition to directing, Eastwood steps in front of the lens again, alongside fellow stars Bradley Cooper, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Peña, Dianne Wiest and Andy Garcia. The screenplay was by Nick Schenk and the music is by Arturo Sandoval.

Earl Stone (Clint Eastwood) is a man in his 80s who is broke, alone and facing foreclosure of his business when he is offered a job that simply requires him to drive. Easy enough, but, unbeknownst to Earl, he’s just signed on as a drug courier for the cartel. He does well—so well, in fact, that his cargo increases exponentially, and Earl is assigned a handler. But he isn’t the only one keeping tabs on Earl; the mysterious new drug mule has also hit the radar of hard-charging DEA agent Colin Bates (Bradley Cooper). And even as his money problems become a thing of the past, Earl’s past mistakes start to weigh heavily on him, and it’s uncertain if he’ll have time to right those wrongs before law enforcement, or the cartel’s enforcers, catch up to him.

The Mule follows Earl Stone who starts out as a successful horticulturist who’s always picked business over family. What happens is, Earl’s business gets slow so he has to shut down which leaves him desperate for money and this is how he ends up becoming The Mule for Laton (Andy Garcia), a Mexican druglord. Earl follows the strict rules in the beginning and isn’t even aware what he’s actually delivering but he ends up getting a little curious on one of his runs and decides to look. This shocking discovery doesn’t shake him enough so he keeps on making his rounds and does a great job, so much so, that Laton invites Earl to Mexico.

While all of this is going on there’s also Agent Colin Bates (Bradley Cooper) and Agent Treviño (Michael Peña), two DEA agents who are getting closer to this drug smuggling operation with each delivery they make and poor Earl is right there in the middle of it. After Earl’s pleasant visit with Laton takes place things quickly change for the old man. Something bad happens to the shot caller and the new man in charge wants Earl taken out for several reasons with the biggest one being that he finally choses his family over work. It’s a decision that Earl will have to pay for but he has no regrets with this choice. The DEA agents finally catch up with Earl and shuts down this drug trafficking operation and sends the old man to prison where he’s allowed to work in the garden.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/o-card. The front features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. Each disc is black and features the movie logo. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for the high-definition disc were crisp and clear. The picture and sound quality for the standard-definition disc were really good. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, The Mule was not only Clint Eastwood’s return to the director’s chair but he’s once again delivered a thought-provoking drama that a lot of people will be able to relate to. Without going into too much detail, I had a family member that chose business over family and he lived to regret some of it. This movie deals with this man’s choice of work before family but as he gets older he’s regretting some of the decisions he’s made. The old man gets mixed up with the wrong people but the money is too good to turn down so he does it for as long as he can and helps out a few people along the way. He’s trying to right a few wrongs but these good deeds don’t make up for the bad things he did to his family but it’s a step in the right direction and he’s able to do it before it’s too late. I like how Clint Eastwood tackles so many different kinds of stories to direct with this one dealing with drug running and the dangers that come with it but there’s also the family aspect at the core. Eastwood shines as the central character who’s really a likable guy even though he’s not really a good person. As a director he captured everything he needed to make this movie such an entertaining watch. This one will touch a lot of souls plus it comes with a small sense of humor courtesy of this outspoken senior citizen. The Mule will be available on a Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital) on April 2nd.

Distributor: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Run Time: 116 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition 16×9 Widescreen (2.40:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio  5.1 / French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 / EDA

DVD Video: 16×9 Widescreen (2.40:1)

DVD Audio: English, French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 / EDA

Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish

Special Features: The extras include a making of featurette, music video and a digital copy of the movie.

  • Nobody Runs Forever: The Making of The Mule (10:59)
  • Toby Keith “Don’t Let the Old Man In” Music Video (02:54)
  • Digital Copy
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